30 November 2009

Riff-Raff Homeschooling.

A "home education facilitator" reminisces that homeschooling used to be something to be proud of before all the riff-raff joined up and wrecked everything. I mean, they're so uncommitted these days. It took REAL "I know I might lose my kids and/or get sucked into the legal system for years" - type commitment to homeschool, so way back when only a few really brave and determined families tried it.

"Today, homeschooling is almost commonplace," yawns Dianne Dachyshyn. "It seems that everyone knows someone who homeschools, and unfortunately, it also seems as if all of us know someone who has homeschooled poorly. Stories abound of that one, odd homeschooling family that someone knew from someplace." You know... the kids in the STORIES.

The real kids, though? I'm thinking the nice social worker might have other things to worry about besides whether Janie learns her times tables at nine instead of seven... but... I have also read the HSLDA bulletins and maybe I need to freak out. And the freak-out dance would be because of STORIES of people like THIS nosing into other people's business and getting all "concerned."

"I hate to say it, but in some of the cases that I have seen in the past five to ten years, the kids would have been better off in public school," Dachyshyn sniffs. She promises to continue her "thoughts" about why she would "dare to speak such heresy" and purport to be a committed homeschooler in some other future article that I probably won't read.

This lady assists families with the review they must submit to the state twice a year in Alberta, Canada. In other words, she makes money because of the stringent requirements in that province. She also has very intimate access to educational testing results and the families themselves. I would have to wonder if she were able to interview public schooling families and look at THEIR portfolios and go through THEIR testing scores and talk about how THEY intend to meet educational goals in the next six months if she wouldn't be singing a different tune. (I'm not saying that would be fair to do to every public school family, either, but insert goose/gander analogy here.)

I can't say I've *never* met a kid that I didn't think might be "better off in the system," but I also realize that HELLO? Every system of education or method you would choose for your child has its advantages and disadvantages. Certainly if you're a lazy mom and would never get 'round to teaching your kid to read, homeschooling probably isn't for you. Certainly if your kid is constantly neglected by the teacher and bullied at school despite your raising concerns, public schooling probably isn't for you right now, either... BUT I DON'T SEE PEOPLE SNIPING AT THE PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM even though the child may be going through severe emotional hardship ... sigh.

But it isn't MY PLACE to decide what you do with your child. You raise your own kid, and I'll raise mine. Tolerance, yo, though I have to also say it drives me nutty bananas to see attitudes like this from people who should know better.


  1. I have a dear friend whose son has been mercilessly bullied in public school since he was young (he's a freshman in hs now). She said early on that she would draw that line if he was really in danger. I guess smacking his head on the concrete wasn't dangerous enough. He's still in p.s., still being bullied, and now she's worried about his anger level. Uh, yeah, I'd be angry too if people harassed me all day (including girls, btw).

    My kids have not gotten the finest education by homeschooling, either. They will graduate without the world's knowledge at their fingertips...but they will know where to get all the information they could ever need, because that is what I consider education: teaching kids to be able to find the information if they don't know it. No spoon feeding here. :)

  2. Priorities. Stuff the kid's head with facts they'll forget as soon as they close the book or teach them how to find out? Pass exams or learn to reason? Be good at school or good at life?.. & I know it's not always an either or choice but often that's how it polarises.

    Now I know Ditz isn't the most academically inclined child around but she is incredibly cluey about dealing with the *real* stuff. Do a C.V? Write a resume? Apply for an audition? Never taught a class on any of it but Ditz can do all of it. Somehow I figure she's got a worthwhile education despite any gaps she may have ~ & everyone has gaps.

  3. The woman is the epitome of the elitists who only want kids from certain backgrounds in their private schools. Good grief.

    My experience with homeschoolers as a whole has been that everyone's goals are different. While we focus hard on preparing our sons for college, others are more interested in equipping them for hands on, back to earther type life styles (which I greatly admire). Some are only interested in religious training. Others are interested in raising liberals. Many parents often (unintentionally) set their kids up to live lives much like their own. Others are intent on raising their children's standards of living. But, in the end, you know what? I'm good with all of it. It takes all kinds, you know?

    It is certainly no worse (and is generally better) than the standards set by the public schools who consider a MAP score of only 50% of the kids in a classroom reading at grade level or better good. My question is always--what about the 50% who aren't?

  4. Yeah, I pulled my kids out because of severe issues. Not just Chaz, but with bullying of my other kids. I was never allowed to visit the classroom unless I made an appointment a couple weeks ahead of time. Too weird for me. I should be able to have my face in the window watching them if I want to. My inlaws freaked out on me when they found out I wanted to homeschool someday. They said my kids would end up weird.


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